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O/S Deployment Thread, Where to put unattend.xml in Technical; Hi All, Originally I used to create my master image, just before shutdown I would run sysprep.exe /unattend:myunattendfile.xml /generalize /oobe ...
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    Where to put unattend.xml

    Hi All,

    Originally I used to create my master image, just before shutdown I would run sysprep.exe /unattend:myunattendfile.xml /generalize /oobe /shutdown

    Then I'd boot that machine back up but into WDS to capture. I've tried it a bit differently this time though and I've used MDT to capture instead. So, I created my master image, created a capture and sysprep task in MDT, just as I'd finished with the master image id run the litetouch.vbs from the deploymentshare$ and then walk through the capture and sysprep task, a few hours later I have my image. Seeing as its part of a task I have no way of manually telling MDT where I want to take my unattend.xml file from.

    This image is then dumped into the captures folder, I then import into MDT as an Operating System. I then create a task sequence for this image. Upon creating the task sequence an unattend.xml file is created (D:\DeploymentShare\Control\01\unattend.xml).

    Also if I right click on the task sequence just created, properties, OS info, i get an "edit unattend.xml" button. If i click this waik opens and I get an unattend file to edit....


    Question is, which of the two above unattend files should I be using? Editing one doesnt seem to change the other, are they different files? Or is waik simply opening up that file located in D:\DeploymentShare\Control\01\unattend.xml??

    Could anyone shed light please??

    Thanks!

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    tommej's Avatar
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    Do not bother to change the unattend.xml in the Sysprep & Capture task sequence. This does nothing for you, (this took me a whole day of Googling to find in some random blog of some random MS person who worked on MDT).

    Sysprep puts all its stuff in %WINDOWS%\Panther. Why is the directory named Panther? Hell if I know. But at any rate, the MDT sysprep & capture does NOT copy the contents of this directory. This means that even though the Sysprep & Capture task sequence copies all its stuff to Panther (I think - never actually verified that part), the captured image doesn't have that. Which means when you boot, it doesn't get customized properly.

    So! Right click your image in WDS and click properties. At the bottom -Tick allow image to install unattended and Point it at the unattended file you want it to use.
    Last edited by tommej; 10th July 2012 at 11:09 AM.

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    Sorry where is this tick box? It is MDT im using not wds

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    Surely after you've captured your image with MDT you import it into WDS for deployment?

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    No.... im using MDT.

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    If you deploy using WDS whats the point in even having mdt installed??

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    Sorry I assumed you do it the way 99% of people do - you can always just stop after the deploy sequence from MDT, and you might have a working install. I don't do it this way and can't really help with sysprepping from here.

    The issues with that are you don't get to customize the user profile, and it takes a lot longer because MDT is actually running all the OS & app installs per deployment. If you deploy from MDT, customize, capture, and deploy from WDS, you're doing a bit dump of an image, and it only takes however long it takes to copy that image. For reference, deployment from MDT took about an hour and a half for Windows 7, Office 2010, and all updates. Deployment of the captured image with WDS took about 5 minutes over gigabit, and another 5 minutes to boot & sysprep properly.

    Good luck.

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    Hmmm I'm confused now tommej! Your way does sound interesting though. Forgive me but I thought the way I did it was correct. I'll talk you through what I do...

    WDS is setup simply with a boot image that boots into mdt, this is ALL i use wds for.

    MDT has the drivers for injection and the task sequences and the OS's. Once i have a reference image i use mdt to deploy it, i dont install the apps seperatly, they are simply baked into the image. When I boot a new pc to image mdt asks for the computers name, installs the os and im done. it also injects the drivers.

    Could you please explain the way you do it? Do you even need to use mdt the way your talking about? can wds inject the drivers? can wds prompt for the computer name, and nothing else?

    Cheers! very interested in this...

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    Use a standard task sequence to deploy the OS + apps to your test machine (don't forget to generate boot images by updating the deployment share including your drivers and add them to WDS, since WDS is actually what you PXE boot from). After the deploy, once you've booted the machine, enter audit mode. The Internet (specifically Brian Lee Jackson's page) claims you can use Ctrl+Shift+F3 to enter audit mode. Whether because of things MDT did or something else, I couldn't do that - had to run sysprep from system32\sysprep, and choose "Enter Audit Mode" and reboot when prompted. Entering audit mode is the key, because combined with the CopyProfile=True setting in unattend.xml, that'll copy the Admin profile over to the Default user profile. (There are various workarounds to enable the old-style "copy the Admin folder and overwrite the Default User folder", but that's generally not recommended).

    Once you've configured the Admin profile as desired and installed any additional apps that wont deploy unnattended use a standard "Sysprep & Capture" sequence from MDT to capture the machine. Protip: you have to launch this from Windows - navigate to the deployment share from within Windows and in the Scripts directory launch LiteTouch.vbs - not LiteTouch.wsf. If you launch the Sysprep & Capture from WinPE it will not work.

    Do not bother to change the unattend.xml in the Sysprep & Capture task sequence.

    Create & customize an unattend.xml and add it to WDS - in the image properties, set "allow image to be deployed unattended" and select the customized unattend.xml you created. You will also want to boot from a standard W7 boot image in WDS, rather than the MDT boot image, since you realistically want to just deploy the image rather than run a task sequence.

    In the unattend.xml, in the Specialize phase, make sure you set CopyProfile=True in Shell Setup. Also, in the same phase, make sure Organization is Microsoft and Owner is set to AutoBVT. (These last two may actually not be necessary and I don't know why they are - I followed Brian Lee Jackson on that and it did seem to make a difference).

    Also important: if you do have errors in the process, boot to the Windows PE environment again on that machine, hit Shift+F10 to open a command prompt, launch notepad (type "Notepad" at the command prompt and hit enter), and open the error log from %WINDOWS%\Panther (there are four text files, one is like "err" something, sorry I don't remember completely but you can figure it out). This will show you what part it's failing on at least, which is crucial if you actually want to get anywhere. Note: if you get an "error denied" when trying to open the log file, right click from the open dialog, copy, and navigate somewhere and paste, then open that).

    Brian lee jacksons guide here: Sysprep a Windows 7 Machine

    I tend to use MDT with virtual machines as I can snapshot before/after I install applications or windows updates and it allows me to version images. The only time I would really deploy with MDT is if I were testing drivers for a new machine or any application changes etc.

    MDT enables me to always create a fresh standardized image should something break, because I always have the task sequences, drivers and applications set up.

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    How do you get wds to prompt for computer name?

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    If you edit your unattend.xml and remove the line that reads <ComputerName></ComputerName>, Windows Mini Setup will prompt you for a computer name during deployment.

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    ok thanks.

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    having a similar issue with MDT where it appears to be ignoring the CopyProfile section of my unattend.xml when deploying a captured image.
    i was under the impression i could setup the administrator profile and have it replicated on the fly as part of the deployment of the image to a pc.

    from what you have said i need to use audit mode with the administrator account and then manually sysprep it on the machine, and then capture?

    **edited: im using the unattend.xml specified for the deployment task not one im copying to the PC then running it**
    Last edited by SHimmer45; 25th October 2012 at 02:11 PM.

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